Government officials and business executives yesterday launched the Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) program in Taipei, which is to bring finance opportunities and enhance bilateral collaboration for start-ups in Taiwan and Canada, with an initial focus on artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and digital health.
The CTA has successfully promoted innovation and commercialization for small and medium-sized tech companies in North America, the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT) said, adding that Taiwan is among only four places in Asia chosen for the program, alongside Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong.
“We are excited and proud to launch the CTA in Taiwan. This is the largest single commercial project funded by Global Affairs Canada in Taiwan to date,” CTOT Executive Director Jordan Reeves said. “The initiative aims to make both Canada and Taiwan’s start-up and innovation ecosystems more successful.”
Photo courtesy of the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei
The project began in 2009 to help innovative Canadian companies grow internationally by helping them access unique resources and contacts, refine their business models, collect competitive intelligence, pursue key clients, access funding and engage with strategic partners.
Besides the primary targeted sectors, the CTA also supports innovation and commercialization in robotics, telecommunications, “clean” energy, biotechnology and other fields.
Boston, New York City, San Francisco and Silicon Valley also have CTA programs, officials said.
“The CTA in Taiwan, with support from our partners, will aim to replicate the monumental success of our programs in the US,” Reeves said. “As one of four new CTAs, Taiwan is a vital part of Canada’s economic diversification strategy toward Asia.”
Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳) joined Canadian officials for the launch, along with representatives from the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the National Development Council.
Tang said she had just returned from Canada, where besides engaging with the digital technology sector, she promoted Taiwan by connecting social enterprises and businesses run by civil organizations and indigenous people in the two nations.
“Technology-assisted open governance and developing social enterprises are parts of Taiwan’s ‘warm power,’ which also helps Taiwan follow up on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as a member of the international community,” Tang said.
Taiwan’s well-established global supply chain, and strengths in innovation and commercialization make it an ideal strategic partner for Canadian companies, Global Affairs Canada Director-General Sarah Taylor said
Canadians have the same innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, Taylor said.
“Forming partnerships under the CTA, companies can turn science into technology, skills into jobs and start-ups into global successes,” she said.
CTOT Deputy Director for Trade and Investment Rupert Cao said that one of the project’s main goals is to bring 10 to 20 Canadian start-up tech companies to the Taiwanese market for investment and collaboration within a year to create strategic partnerships or joint ventures.
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